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Daniel Murphy: Among Greatest Postseason Hitters of All-Time?


Daniel Murphy Mets 2015 playoffs mlb baseball postseason

Photo vis Getty Images

If you were to ask Mets fans back in August when the team was super hot, who would lead the Mets offense to a 2-0 series lead in the NLCS, would ANYONE say Daniel Murphy? Murph has been beyond ‘on fire’, he’s been The Human Torch, torching Cy Young-level pitchers like Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester, and Jake Arrieta. The Mets starting second baseman is now tied for most home runs in Mets franchise postseason HISTORY in his first ever postseason. He’s now totaled more than a third of this regular season home run total in way way way less at-bats and games. It’s time to face the Coors Light stone cold fact of the century: the Mets would be home watching the NLCS if Daniel Murphy wasn’t on the team.

So, with his teammates afraid to touch Murph for fear of third degree burns, how does #28 stack up against the game’s best postseason hitters? To find out, I took a look at Baseball Reference’s Single Season Posteason Batting Leaders in addition to Single-Season League Division Series Batting Leaders and Single-Season League Championship Series Batting Leaders.

Before we get to my ‘report’, Sports on Earth published an article on the 10 Best Postseason Hitters a couple years ago. Their rankings are below.

10. Derek Jeter
9. George Brett
8. Lenny Dykstra
7. Paul Molitor
6. Kirk Gibson
5. Lou Brock
4. Albert Pujols
3. Lou Gehrig
2. Babe Ruth
1. Carlos Beltran

Once you’ve had time to digest that list, here’s how things could play out for The Human Torch…

Daniel Murphy Mets Dodgers Zack Greinke

Gif via MLB.com

Murph has played in 7 games (5 vs LA, 2 vs. Chicago) and has 28 at-bats. He’s projected to play in 13-19 games and tally 52-76 at-bats. The more successful the Mets, the less likely Murph will land on this list, but though his final numbers might not surpass those in the history books, those who watched him will never forget his Herculean contributions.

RUNS SCORED
Murph (current): 7

LDS

Rank Player R PA Series/Year
1. Ken Griffey 9 27 1995 ALDS2
Carlos Beltran 9 24 2004 NLDS2
3. Bernie Williams 8 28 1995 ALDS2
4. Joey Cora 7 25 1995 ALDS2
Ray Durham 7 24 2002 ALDS2
Daniel Descalso 7 22 2012 NLDS1
Jason Varitek 7 22 1999 ALDS1
Rougned Odor 7 21 2015 ALDS2
Jim Thome 7 21 1999 ALDS1
Jacoby Ellsbury 7 19 2013 ALDS1

Murph (projected): 13-19 (n/a to 2nd all-time)

ENTIRE POSTSEASON

Rank Player R PA Series/Year
1. Carlos Beltran 21 56 2004
2. Barry Bonds 18 74 2002
3. Lance Berkman 17 76 2011
Paul Molitor 17 55 1993
5. Kenny Lofton 16 81 2002
Melvin Upton 16 72 2008
David Ortiz 16 63 2007
Kevin Youkilis 16 59 2007
9. Albert Pujols 15 82 2011
Troy Glaus 15 69 2002
Alex Rodriguez 15 68 2009
Albert Pujols 15 67 2004
Chase Utley 15 66 2009

HITS
Murph (current): 10

LDS

Rank Player H PA Series/Year
1. Edgar Martinez 12 27 1995 ALDS2
Ichiro Suzuki 12 21 2001 ALDS1
3. Jay Buhner 11 26 1995 ALDS2
Marquis Grissom 11 21 1995 NLDS1
5. Don Mattingly 10 25 1995 ALDS2
Carlos Beltran 10 24 2004 NLDS2
Mike Stanley 10 22 1999 ALDS1
Moises Alou 10 21 2003 NLDS2
Andruw Jones 10 21 2004 NLDS2
Justin Turner 10 20 2015 NLDS2
Carlos Gonzalez 10 19 2009 NLDS2
Dante Bichette 10 18 1995 NLDS1

Murph (projected): 18-27 (n/a – 1st all-time)

Daniel Murphy Mets Cubs Jake Arrieta

Gif via MLB.com

ENTIRE POSTSEASON

Rank Player H PA Series/Year
1. Pablo Sandoval 26 78 2014
2. Darin Erstad 25 75 2002
David Freese 25 71 2011
Marquis Grissom 25 68 1995
5. Albert Pujols 24 82 2011
Tino Martinez 24 71 2000
Pablo Sandoval 24 70 2012
Marty Barrett 24 68 1986
Albert Pujols 24 67 2004
10. Marquis Grissom 23 76 1996
Steve Garvey 23 66 1981

HOME RUNS
Murph (current): 5

LDS All-Time

Rank Player HR PA Series/Year
1. Ken Griffey 5 27 1995 ALDS2
Juan Gonzalez 5 19 1996 ALDS2
3. Carlos Beltran 4 24 2004 NLDS2
Jim Thome 4 21 1999 ALDS1
5. Paul O’Neill 3 24 1995 ALDS2
John Valentin 3 23 1999 ALDS1
Barry Bonds 3 22 2002 NLDS1
Ryan Ludwick 3 22 2012 NLDS2
Marquis Grissom 3 21 1995 NLDS1
Daniel Murphy 3 21 2015 NLDS2
Delmon Young 3 21 2011 ALDS1
Nelson Cruz 3 20 2010 ALDS1
Ian Kinsler 3 20 2010 ALDS1
Kendrys Morales 3 20 2015 ALDS1
Colby Rasmus 3 20 2015 ALDS1
Chris Young 3 20 2011 NLDS2
Edgardo Alfonzo 3 19 1999 NLDS2
Pedro Alvarez 3 19 2013 NLDS1
Ken Caminiti 3 19 1999 NLDS1
Carl Crawford 3 19 2013 NLDS2
Bryce Harper 3 19 2014 NLDS1
Bengie Molina 3 19 2005 ALDS2
Melvin Upton 3 19 2008 ALDS2
Nomar Garciaparra 3 18 1998 ALDS1
Troy Glaus 3 18 2002 ALDS1
Stephen Piscotty 3 18 2015 NLDS1
Bernie Williams 3 18 1996 ALDS2
Matt Carpenter 3 17 2014 NLDS2
Todd Walker 3 17 2003 ALDS2
Adrian Beltre 3 16 2011 ALDS2
Vinny Castilla 3 16 1995 NLDS1
Shawn Green 3 16 2004 NLDS1
B.J. Surhoff 3 13 1996 ALDS1
Ken Caminiti 3 12 1996 NLDS2
Jim Leyritz 3 11 1998 NLDS2

Murph (projected): 9-14 (1st all-time)

ENTIRE POSTSEASON

Rank Player HR PA Series/Year
1. Barry Bonds 8 74 2002
Nelson Cruz 8 70 2011
Carlos Beltran 8 56 2004
4. Melvin Upton 7 72 2008
Troy Glaus 7 69 2002
Jayson Werth 7 62 2009
7. Rich Aurilia 6 77 2002
Pablo Sandoval 6 70 2012
Bernie Williams 6 69 1996
Alex Rodriguez 6 68 2009
Evan Longoria 6 67 2008
Albert Pujols 6 67 2004
Larry Walker 6 67 2004
Chase Utley 6 66 2009
Nelson Cruz 6 63 2010
Lenny Dykstra 6 60 1993
Ken Griffey 6 52 1995
Bob Robertson 6 45 1971
Jim Thome 6 42 1998

RUNS BATTED IN
Murph (current): 8

LDS

Rank Player RBI PA Series/Year
1. John Valentin 12 23 1999 ALDS1
2. Nomar Garciaparra 11 18 1998 ALDS1
3. Edgar Martinez 10 27 1995 ALDS2
Jim Thome 10 21 1999 ALDS1
Reggie Sanders 10 13 2005 NLDS1
6. Carlos Beltran 9 24 2004 NLDS2
Robinson Cano 9 24 2011 ALDS1
Juan Gonzalez 9 19 1996 ALDS2
9. Ken Caminiti 8 19 1999 NLDS1
10. Ken Griffey 7 27 1995 ALDS2
Brandon Phillips 7 25 2012 NLDS2
Rich Aurilia 7 22 2002 NLDS1
Troy O’Leary 7 22 1999 ALDS1
Paul O’Neill 7 22 1997 ALDS1
Garret Anderson 7 20 2005 ALDS2
Morgan Ensberg 7 20 2005 NLDS2
Tim Salmon 7 20 2002 ALDS1
Brian Jordan 7 19 1999 NLDS1
Mo Vaughn 7 18 1998 ALDS1
Matt Carpenter 7 17 2014 NLDS2
Manny Ramirez 7 16 2004 ALDS1
Jim Edmonds 7 15 2000 NLDS1

Murph (projected): 15 – 22 (n/a – 1st all-time)

ENTIRE POSTSEASON

Rank Player TB PA Series/Year
1. David Freese 21 71 2011
2. Sandy Alomar 19 76 1997
David Ortiz 19 68 2004
Scott Spiezio 19 66 2002
5. Alex Rodriguez 18 68 2009
6. Rich Aurilia 17 77 2002
Ivan Rodriguez 17 77 2003
Ryan Howard 17 64 2009
John Valentin 17 48 1999
10. Albert Pujols 16 82 2011
Barry Bonds 16 74 2002
Benito Santiago 16 74 2002
Melvin Upton 16 72 2008
Nelson Cruz 16 70 2011
Fred McGriff 16 69 1996
Manny Ramirez 16 63 2007

TOTAL BASES
Murph (current): 26

LDS

Rank Player TB PA Series/Year
1. Ken Griffey 24 27 1995 ALDS2
Carlos Beltran 24 24 2004 NLDS2
3. Marquis Grissom 22 21 1995 NLDS1
Juan Gonzalez 22 19 1996 ALDS2
5. Edgar Martinez 21 27 1995 ALDS2
6. Nelson Cruz 19 20 2010 ALDS1
7. John Valentin 18 23 1999 ALDS1
Andruw Jones 18 21 2004 NLDS2
Jim Thome 18 21 1999 ALDS1
Matt Carpenter 18 17 2014 NLDS2
Jim Edmonds 18 15 2000 NLDS1

Murph (projected): 48 – 71 (2nd all-time to 1st all-time)

ENTIRE POSTSEASON

Rank Player TB PA Series/Year
1. David Freese 50 71 2011
2. Albert Pujols 47 82 2011
Pablo Sandoval 47 70 2012
Troy Glaus 47 69 2002
Carlos Beltran 47 56 2004
6. Albert Pujols 46 67 2004
7. Barry Bonds 44 74 2002
Nelson Cruz 44 63 2010
9. Melvin Upton 43 72 2008
10. David Ortiz 42 68 2004
Alex Rodriguez 42 68 2009

BATTING AVERAGE
Murph (current): .357 batting average (not even close)

LDS

Rank Player BA PA Series/Year
1. David Ortiz .714 13 2007 ALDS1
2. Jeff Kent .615 13 2006 NLDS1
3. Ichiro Suzuki .600 21 2001 ALDS1
Fernando Vina .600 16 2002 NLDS2
Luis Alicea .600 12 1995 ALDS1
6. Carlos Gonzalez .588 19 2009 NLDS2
Dante Bichette .588 18 1995 NLDS1
8. Edgar Martinez .571 27 1995 ALDS2
Carlos Guillen .571 16 2006 ALDS1
Jim Edmonds .571 15 2000 NLDS1
Jorge Soler .571 13 2015 NLDS1

Entire Postseason

Rank Player BA PA Series/Year
1. Lloyd McClendon .727 16 1992
2. Mark Grace .647 22 1989
3. Babe Ruth .625 17 1928
4. Fred Lynn .611 20 1982
5. Carlos Gonzalez .588 19 2009
Dante Bichette .588 18 1995
7. Jorge Soler .571 13 2015
8. Lou Gehrig .545 17 1928
Hank Gowdy .545 16 1914
10. A.J. Ellis .538 17 2014
Kyle Schwarber .538 15 2015

The Mets will face Kyle Hendricks at Wrigley in Game 3. According to MLB.com, Hendricks finished the regular season strong, but was not good in the NLDS against St. Louis. He’s a righty, so Murph should match up well, however, Daniel’s batting .167 against him in 6 at-bats. The Cubs haven’t announced who will throw game 4. My guess is that they’ll try to bring Arrieta back. We see what Murph did against him.

I don’t want to jinx the Mets, but if they win this series and advance to the World Series, they’ll face either the Royals or Blue Jays. The Jays have Marco Estrada, RA Dickey, and Mark Buehrle with David Price also in the mix, but the only hurler who seems to be a threat is Estrada. Meanwhile, KC’s got Cueto, Volquez and Ventura. I’d rather face Toronto, even with all the power bats they pack.

Of course, neither the Mets nor their fans should look ahead. While most Mets fans aren’t handling the success well and have already started speculating about what the organization will do in the offseason – myself included – Daniel Murphy is putting together a historic postseason. Let’s enjoy it. And let’s go Mets!

PS – You have to love Murph’s glove as well…

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